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Lünen/Mönchengladbach. REMONDIS AG & Co. KG’s ‘dual system’, EKO-PUNKT, has applied to be approved across the whole of Germany. Over the last few days, Mönchengladbach-based EKO-PUNKT GmbH has submitted the relevant application documents to all German states. Producers and distributors of sales packaging can license their volumes to EKO-Punkt thus ensuring that they fulfil their obligations to take back and recycle used sales packaging. As a result, EKO-Punkt GmbH will now compete against the ex-monopolist Duales System Deutschland (DSD GmbH) for the collection and recycling of all packaging thrown away by individuals into their recycling bin as well as into old paper containers and bottle banks. EKO-PUNKT has already been approved as a ‘dual system’ in Hamburg (May 2006) and Bavaria (December 2006) and so has access to 17 percent of all German citizens.
EKO-PUNKT is expecting to receive official approval from further state authorities over the next few months and to have set up a nationwide take-back system for sales packaging by the end of 2007 at the very latest. EKO-PUNKT will use the existing systems (yellow recycling bins and/or bags, depot containers) to carry out the kerbside collection of recyclables.
EKO-PUNKT is the only ‘dual system’ in Germany to have its own network of sorting and recycling facilities. Herwart Wilms, Head of Sales at REMONDIS, commented, “The network we have gives EKO-PUNKT a clear competitive advantage, as we have all the necessary resources at our disposal for sorting and marketing thus making administrative costs much lower than those of other providers.” REMONDIS already organizes the take-back and processing of transport and sales packaging in five other European countries under the EKO-PUNKT name. EKO-PUNKT is currently active in Poland, Hungary, Great Britain, the Czech Republic and Slovakia. Markus Mohren, managing director of EKO-PUNKT commented, “Internationally active producers and distributors are especially interested in Europe-wide solutions for taking back sales packaging.”
The German Packaging Ordinance stipulates that sales packaging must be collected separately and recycled. It makes it obligatory for all producers and distributors of sales packaging to take back their used sales packaging and to have it recycled. Producers and distributors can fulfil their obligations by registering with a ‘dual system’ and paying a licence fee. Sales packaging comprises so-called light packaging (for example drinks cartons, plastic film, yoghurt pots and tins), glass, paper and cardboard. Such packaging can be collected separately, sorted and sent for recycling. As a result, valuable resources can be conserved and raw materials, such as metals and plastics, can be returned to the market. The recycling rates for packaging materials in Germany are the highest in Europe: glass (87.7%), paper (87.7%), tinplate (81.6%), aluminium (72.3%), drinks cartons (64.4%), plastics (53.8%) [source: German Association of Waste Management Companies]. The German Ministry of the Environment is currently working on an amendment to the Packaging Ordinance in order to safeguard the future of the kerbside collection of recyclables which is currently under threat financially as a result of copycat systems: <link http: www.bmu.de abfallwirtschaft>www.bmu.de/abfallwirtschaft
REMONDIS is one of the world’s largest privately run water and environmental service companies serving around 20 million people . With EKO-PUNKT, REMONDIS has rounded off its range of services and offers recycling solutions for all kinds of packaging.